The suspect, identified by authorities as 41-year-old Jacob Wilhoit, “restrained” the woman in the car and drove north towards Las Vegas, and they spent the night in a Lake Mead park, the sheriff’s office said.
At 5pm on Tuesday, they pulled into a Chevron gas station 150 miles southeast in Seligman, Arizona.
The woman signalled to another customer and passed a note with a description of her abductor and his blue Honda van, and begged them to call 911.
“Help,” the note read. “Call 911.”
The note included a a phone number and that they were headed to “Kingman Las Vegas”.
Their van was intercepted by officers from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) heading westbound on the I-40, and Mr Wilhoit was detained without incident, according to authorities.
Several firearms were found “in plain view” in his car, they said.
Deputies also learned the woman had been reported missing by her mother the previous day, who named Mr Wilhoit as a “person of interest”.
Mr Wilhoit has been arrested on charges including aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, and other assault and harassment charges.
“The victim’s extraordinary action in passing the note, the customer’s willingness to assist, and the quick actions of YCSO and DPS saved the victim from her kidnapper and allowed her to return home with her family,” Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said.